BERNE — A farmer and a family man, Ordell R. Stock had solid, old-fashioned values.
“He stood up for what was right,” said his daughter, Rebekah Stock. “He had a pioneer-type attitude…He was a kind, caring person but yet a lot of people didn’t understand him. He was a private person.”
Miss Stock went on, “He stood for what he believed in…family, conservatism, religion — he didn’t like modern people with their immoral ways. He believed in freedom.”
Mr. Stock died unexpectedly on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, at his home on Sheltered Acres, his family’s farm in Knox. He was 80.
Mr. Stock was born on July 2, 1932 the son of Earl and Verna (Conklin) Stock in Johnstown, N.Y. His mother sold gloves and his father did carpentry and had a Watkins route, delivering baking products and health remedies to homes in his panel truck.
Mr. Stock had two sisters, and two brothers who were both veterans; one of them died in World War II.
Mr. Stock was president of his class at Fort Plain High School. He went on to Cobleskill College where he studied soil science, animal husbandry, and agronomy.
He had a particular fondness for Ayrshire cattle. “As a boy, he showed registered Ayrshires for the 4-H and FFA,” said Miss Stock, referring to Future Farmers of America.
Asked about the breed, she quoted a line of poetry from Robert Louis Stevenson: “The friendly cow all red and white, I love with all my heart….”
Describing the way her parents met, Miss Stock said, “He was a very righteous person. He was Christian and went to church. One day, they met on the Reformed Church steps in West Berne. They dated for 18 months and married on April 27, 1958.”
The Stocks were a devoted couple and their marriage ended only with Carolyn Stock’s death. She battled cancer and died in 2008, just shy of their 50th wedding anniversary, so the family celebrated it a week early.
“A Christian man, he believed in a righteous relationship — one man, one woman,” said his daughter.
The Stocks originally raised veal calves on their farm in Knox. “My father was a hard-working man,” said Miss Stock. “He worked on dairy farms. He worked three years for the Thruway, and then he worked 28 years for General Electric in Schenectady.”
For most of those years, he was a gardener at GE, she said, tending to rose bushes and trees.
“He was a definite family man,” Miss Stock stressed. “He had a deep love of his family and love of humanity.”
She continued, “He was a loving father but stern — no drugs, no alcohol. He didn’t want us to go in the wrong direction…He worked hard for his family, often getting only four hours of sleep at night.”
Miss Stock and her brother, Robert, live on the family farm.
She concluded, “He was very generous…His last gift was — the car had broken down — he wrote a check a half-hour before he died to pay for the repair.”
Ordell R. Stock is survived by his children, Robert and Rebekah Stock of Berne. He is also survived by his sisters, Phyllis Saltsman and her husband, Sidney, and Arlene Wagner and her husband, Eugene, and several nieces and nephews.
His wife, Carolyn Stock, died in 2008. His two brothers, Earl and Robert, also died before him.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Friday, Dec. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the First Reformed Church of Berne at 1664 Helderberg Trail, Berne, 12023. A funeral service will be conducted on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 a.m. in the church. Interment at the Beaverdam Cemetery will follow. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.
Memorial contributions may be made to Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Salvation Army, or the First Reformed Church of Berne.
— Melissa Hale-Spencer